My Wonderful Life

Why Bother?

posted on 10/17/12 by Staff

Three reasons why you should care about planning and sharing your final wishes

“Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.” – Bertolt Brecht

 Why spend time planning for it when you won’t be around to see it?

 That’s the question I get most often when talking about My Wonderful Life and the importance of planning your own final celebration.

 Far from a selfish “last gasp” of control or an egotistical expression of bloated pride, a funeral or other act of remembrance sets the tone for a person’s legacy and gives mourners an opportunity to grieve together.

 Here are my top three reasons why you should care about planning and sharing your final wishes


1)   For all but your closest friends and family, your funeral or memorial service will dominate your legacy.

 How many times have you been to a funeral and thought: “wow, they would have HATED this – I sure hope my funeral isn’t this bad!” No matter how energetic and unique you may have been in life, a run-of-the-mill memorial has the power to make your legacy forgettable. If funerals are meant for the living and not the dead, then you’re doing the living a disservice by making them endure a boring funeral.

 2)   Your loved ones will be busy with a hundred other details – make the memorial easier for them by planning it your way.

 Along with grief, a loved one’s death can spawn a massive to-do list. Between meetings with lawyers, funeral directors and financial advisors, bereaved survivors are often left to wonder “Is this what they would have wanted?” when it comes to a memorial. Planning your own final send-off takes the guesswork (and the burden of decision-making) out of the equation.

 3)   Planning your own remembrance gives you the last word – and sends your friends and family one last loving embrace. 

People with diverse opinions, beliefs and backgrounds don’t often see eye-to-eye on everything, and family is no exception. Planning your own final send-off ensures your preferences and beliefs – religious or secular – are respected and followed as closely as possible. Plus, you might finally be able to get in the last word with your pushy uncles and in-laws.

 However you decide to be memorialized, a little bit of planning and preparation can go a long way toward defining your legacy and eliminating hassles for your family. Plus, planning can be a family affair – include your spouse, children or other loved ones in the process, so they can feel connected to you, in life and in death.

 So, what are you waiting for? Tell us how you’d want to be remembered.


2 Previous comments:

(1) On March 19, 2013, Kao Yongvang () said:
This website is exactly what I had been writing in a notebook in preparation for when I would pass away. I have letters written and dated as far back as 2000, emails saved in my Draft folder, with a letter of instructions to send those out. Letting someone take care of such an important milestone isn't nice. I have also included in my "Death Box", an accordion folder case, a letter of apology to the person I designated as the executor of all these wishes of mine. It's no small task to try to put on an event that celebrates someone's life. Planning for it is the kindest last gesture someone can do for those left to take care of it. It is also practical and efficient and one last expression of one's love to help the survivors let go and heal. Kudos to you two for this great website!
(2) On February 11, 2014, Jonathan ( said:
Pre planning a funeral is vital! My father passed away a few years ago. We had to plan it and it was so hard to do. I wish that he would have planned more of it while he was still here.

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